Sunday, January 15, 2006


The Eskimo diet consists mainly of fish, seals, whales, and other aquatic animals. The Eskimos have a very active lifestyle, and often have to travel vast distances to find food. Eskimos do not age prematurely despite the harsh environmental and difficult conditions under which they live. Weight, skin-fold thickness, and blood pressure do not increase between the ages of 20 and 54. Cholesterol levels do not increase with age. Between the thirties and the fifties a decline in vital capacity and hand-grip has been found.
The fish and meat they consume are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Their diet is also very low in carbohydrates, and the combination of low sugar and high protein content has necessitated a large number of metabolic adaptations. For example, plasma lipids and plasma lipoproteins do not increase much between the ages of 31 and 61 in either sex. The incidence of ischemic heart disease is low. The fact that the blood lipid pattern of Eskimos living in Danish areas resembled that of the Danes points strongly towards an environmental determinism of the low lipids levels and related age changes in this population.
Brocklehurst, J. C. Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. New York: Churchhill Livingstone, 1985.


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